February 22, 2013
The News Journal
State monitors flunk Pencader, revoke school’s charter
Although parents and students had urged state officials to give them one more chance, the state Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to close Pencader Business and Finance Charter School. Secretary of Education Mark Murphy recommended Thursday that the state take the extreme step of revoking the school’s permission to operate as a public school. The state board moved swiftly to do so. Murphy said Pencader’s team did not submit a plan that addressed concerns communicated to them by the state, including improving student performance, strong governance of the school, and a plan for recruitment of more students and a new school leader.
The New York Times
Test scores of Hispanics vary widely across 5 most populous states, analysis shows
Of all the changes sweeping through the American public education system, one of the most significant is simply demographic: the growing population of Hispanic students. A new analysis released Thursday of nationwide test results in the five most populous states — California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas — shows that depending on where they live, Hispanic students’ academic performance varies widely.
Judge says state cannot withhold aid to city schools over teacher evaluation impasse
State officials, for now, cannot stop $260 million in aid from flowing into New York City’s schools as a penalty for the city’s failure to iron out a plan for evaluating public school teachers, a state judge ruled this week.
The Texas Tribune
Weighing prospect of changes in graduation requirements
Following backlash over the rocky institution of a new student assessment system last spring, Texas lawmakers are scrambling to scale back the requirements they passed four years ago. As the Legislature tackles such reform, attention is also focused on another area of education policy: high school graduation requirements. Wrapped up in legislation that reduces the number of state-mandated standardized exams are several measures that redefine the curriculum prescribed for a high school diploma in favor of loosening the required courses for graduation.
The Washington Post
U.S. schools brace for federal funding cuts
Schools across the country are sending out pink slips as they brace for the possibility of deep federal budget cuts that could take effect next week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday. Duncan criticized Congress for failing to reach a deal to stop the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, which could force thousands of teachers out of their jobs.
Many students don’t need remediation, studies say
Recent research findings from Columbia University and Harvard suggest a significant portion of students who test into college remedial classes don’t actually need them. The studies conclude that more comprehensive measures beyond single test scores should be used to gauge students’ college readiness. The problem is coming to the fore as states move to align their standards with the Common Core.